Album Review / Lauren MacColl: Landskein

A long time ago, in a land far, far away... That's how it feels when I remember a day this past winter, just over half a year ago. Me and my wife were in Glasgow for our second Celtic Connections and we had managed to get tickets to Lauren MacColl's solo recital at the City … Continue reading Album Review / Lauren MacColl: Landskein

Album Review / Sam Sweeney: Unearth Repeat

Wood. Living, rough, hewn, shaped into houses, burned for warmth we need. People and their stories; villages and towns and other places they live in. People whose language I don’t always speak but we understand each other anyway. Those are the feelings and mental images I get from British fiddler Sam Sweeney’s new album Unearth … Continue reading Album Review / Sam Sweeney: Unearth Repeat

Album Review / David Foley & Jack Smedley: Time To Fly

It does not take much but it takes everything. It takes a fiddle and a flute and some other instruments and a few good people with good hands and a lot of soul. RURA's David Foley and Jack Smedley have released their first non-RURA outing, Time To Fly, an album of such natural flow, natural … Continue reading Album Review / David Foley & Jack Smedley: Time To Fly

Artist Intro: Fiddlers’ Bid

Fiddlers' Bid are a multiple award-winning fiddle band from Shetland. Formed in 1991, their launch preceded the other successful "fiddle attack" groups like Blazin' Fiddles and Finland's Frigg by almost a decade. The fiddles in the band are supported and the sound enriched not only by the customary guitar and piano but also by harp … Continue reading Artist Intro: Fiddlers’ Bid

Artist Intro: Fara

Fara are an Orkney quartet of three fiddles and a piano. Originally an all female lineup changed in 2019 when pianist Jennifer Austin left and was replaced by Rory Matheson. Fara's music includes both trad and original pieces, instrumentals and songs, and ranges from uptempo dance tunes to very delicate mood pieces, always brilliantly played. … Continue reading Artist Intro: Fara

Better-late-than-never Reviews 2×2: Grey & Peach, Macfarlane & Henderson

2x2 = two albums, both with two musicians and lots of the deceptively simple beauty I love in this music. I wasn’t properly awake when these were released earlier this year but, again, better late… The mesmerizing Air Iomall (On the Edge) by Charlie Grey & Joseph Peach is paired with a film of the … Continue reading Better-late-than-never Reviews 2×2: Grey & Peach, Macfarlane & Henderson

Album Review / RANT: The Portage

"A stark, honest recording." That's how the core quality of RANT’s third outing is described on RANT's Bandcamp site. It may be a slightly surprising choice of words for music that's very controlled, touching on modern classical in some places, played by a quartet of Scotland's finest (Bethany Reid, Anna Massie, Jenna Reid and Lauren … Continue reading Album Review / RANT: The Portage

Album Review / Martin Hayes & Brooklyn Rider: The Butterfly

I like my malt whisky straight. Very rarely I go for even a drop of water and never, never ice. So, naturally, I approached the new album by Irish master fiddler Martin Hayes with some skepticism. He plays here with the Brooklyn Rider String Quartet, one of the foremost in their field in the USA, … Continue reading Album Review / Martin Hayes & Brooklyn Rider: The Butterfly

A better-late-than-never Album Review / Kinnaris Quintet: Free One

Kinnaris Quintet and their debut album Free One have been around for a while already but for some reason I got to listening to it only recently. Which makes this another of my better-late-than-never reviews. I’ll start with an embarrassing confession: the mere word ’quintet’ in the ensemble’s name led me to believe I was … Continue reading A better-late-than-never Album Review / Kinnaris Quintet: Free One

A better-late-than-never Album Review / Mike Vass: The Four Pillars (2018)

So it took me some time to get around to listening to this work by Mike Vass. Better late; I’ve enjoyed his various and versatile solo and collaborative projects very much and this is no exception. The album info on the web tells me that this work was ”commissioned by the Scots Fiddle Festival ... … Continue reading A better-late-than-never Album Review / Mike Vass: The Four Pillars (2018)